Rugby Union: Success in SA talks: Compromise ends feud

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The Independent Online
THE running feud between Louis Luyt, the South African rugby supremo, and Jannie Engelbrecht, the Springboks team manager, was resolved through compromise after an emergency meeting of the South African Rugby Football Union executive committee lasting almost six hours in Cape Town last night.

A brief statement, read out by Mluleki George, the Sarfu senior vice-president, said that Luyt and Engelbrecht had pledged their unconditional support to each other.

Hostility between Luyt and Engelbrecht erupted when South Africa returned from their New Zealand tour, where they lost two Tests and drew the third. Luyt said he would seek Engelbrecht's dismissal and hinted that he would also push for the replacement of Ian McIntosh, the team coach.

Engelbrecht replied by saying Luyt had to change. 'His management style is not acceptable to South Africa and there is no affection for our rugby president overseas.' He also said Luyt was in rugby 'for his own ego'.

The statement said all the issues had been discussed openly by the 11-man executive and had resulted in unanimous decisions. 'Mr Engelbrecht has stated his unconditional support for Dr Luyt and the president has stated his unconditional support for Mr Engelbrecht to continue in his appointed position until after the World Cup.'

Engelbrecht said he was entirely satisfied with the outcome, but the calm did not last for long. He then found himself having to deny newspaper allegations that on the tour one player was drunk the night before the second Test in Wellington and that others broke the door of a taxi.